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194.094 Modelling and Simulation in Health Technology Assessment
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2021W, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC, to be held in blocked form


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to

  • fundamentally understand and use three different modeling methods (System Dynamics, Agent-based Simulation and Markov Processes)
  • implement one of the mentioned methods in a simulation environment
  • understand basic data structures of health systems, in particular of the Austrian
  • understand basic concepts of HTA (Health Technology Assessment) and CER (Comparative Effectiveness) and their effect on the introduction of innovative therapies, pharmaceutics and medical products into health systems
  • compare the mathematical modeling concepts and to select the best choice in respect to a given HTA / CER question
  • analyze and model medical interventions, such as pharmaceutics medical devices, or vaccines in terms of their effects in the health care system.

Subject of course

Medical technologies and pharmaceutics are strictly evaluated regarding their effects on patients and the health system. This starts at research and development continuing up to production and integration into the health system.

This is important to evaluate and predict benefit, market possibilities and economic success of such technologies. These include analyses of needed data, evidence and proof of the benefits, identification of the target population, representation of the patients that should be supplied and evaluation of the therapeutic outcomes. For students in the area of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics and Mathematicians in the Area of HEOR (Health Economic Outcomes Research) therefore basic knowledge on these subjects and processes provides an excellent extension for their curriculum.

In the lecture, three different mathematical modeling concepts are introduced (System Dynamics, Agent-Based Simulation and Markov Processes) which are widely used for evaluation of interventions and medical technologies. The implementation phase of simulation models is presented and shown with examples. Finally the interfaces between the health system (macro level) and clinical, experimental and simulation data (micro level) will be outlined and examples for applications will be shown.

Basic knowledge of concepts and methods on Comparative Modeling & Simulation, Health Systems, Data Structures and Evidence Based Medicine  will be taught. Students receive an introduction into data structures, available data and decision-making structures in the Austrian health system and HTA and CER. In addition basic concepts for the evaluation of medical devices and pharmaceuticals as well as Health Technology Assessment (HTA) are explained (e.g. definition of a PICO research question, building mathematical models for this PICO structure).

Teaching methods

  • Online Lecture and regular discussion with the auditorium
  • Supervised hands-on modeling and programming of a case study

Mode of examination


Additional information

This year, special issue: COVID-19 related health technology assessment

The lecture is fully administered via ZOOM.

Link for preliminary discussion on 2021-10-13, 14:00-15:00:

The course is based on the basics of mathematical modeling concepts and simulation in general. In addition, in the field of HTA and CER as well as Medical Decision Making on the work on "Modeling Good Research Practices" see also:

The lecture is held in cooperation with DEXHELPP (Decision Support for Health Policy and Planning). DEXHELPP ( works in close cooperation with TU Wien on the development and use of new methods, models and technologies to support the analysis, planning and management of health systems.

We expect the following expenditure of time:

  0.5h   Preliminary
18.5h   VU units (11 x 1.5h, 2 x 1.0h)
  0.5h   Project release
35.0h   Project work including meetings with your supervisor
15.0h   Preparation examination
  1.0h   Examination
  3.0h   Preparation for project presentation
  1.5h   Project presentation
75.0h  = 3 ECTS

Apart from units related with the project work and test, there is no compulsory attendance in the lecture hall. Yet, we ask you to comply with the LVA registration period.



Examination modalities

The certificate is acquired through an oral examination and through the submission of the jointly prepared case study.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
03.11.2021 00:00 24.11.2021 00:00



No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

Basic Understanding of Modelling & Simulation


if required in English